Changes to Our Parish In Response to COVID-19

Dear Parishioners,

The Archbishop’s latest letter to the people of Archdiocese of Seattle can be found here.

This past week, we received revised protocols for public celebration of Holy Mass from the Archdiocese. The most notable and encouraging change is that distribution of the Holy Eucharist to the faithful will take place during the Mass and not after Mass, as we have been doing for the past couple months. In addition, because those attending will now be in their pews at the end of Mass, the Archdiocese recommends a new dismissal protocol to ensure social distancing as people exit the church. Ushers will dismiss people from the rear pews first and then move towards the front.

On Thursday, June 18th, Governor Inslee released new guidelines for Faith-based organizations allowing the Mass attendance to be at 25% of the building capacity or 200 people, whichever is less, while still meeting the 6 feet social distancing requirement. With these new guidelines, we have increased the number of people who can sign up for Mass to 100.

Because our daily Mass attendance is much less than 100, we will no longer require advance signups for these daily Masses (Tues – Fri at 12:10PM and Sat at 9:00AM). However, you will still be required to sign up in advance for the Vigil and Sunday Masses each weekend since these Mass times often reach our 100 person limit. The Sign-up process will remain unchanged. There will be someone at the front entrance to check people in 15 minutes before Mass starts. Please arrive at least 5 minutes before Mass starts to allow time for signing in. The doors will be locked once Mass starts. Please visit our parish website to sign up for Mass (click here).

Signing up for Mass is very easy. Simply go to the parish website and click on the link to Sign up for a Public Mass (click here). This will take you to the sign up page with links to the schedules that are available. Click on the week you are interested in, and that will take you to the Sign-up Genius page with all the Masses for that week. Please read the guidelines and restrictions before signing up for a particular Mass. Select the Mass time that you want to sign up for and then click on ‘Sign up and Submit’ at the bottom of the page. Enter your name, phone number, email , and number of people you are signing up. If you are signing up more than 1 person, you must enter the names of the others in the comment field so that we have them on the list. Click on Submit and you will receive a confirmation email shortly after. If for some reason you need to change or delete your sign-up, you can do so by going back to the Signup page and click on the ‘Change My Signup’ link. If you have any questions or need assistance, please call the office at 360-693-3052.

Please remember that the general dispensation from Sunday Mass obligation will continue to remain in place. Vulnerable, at-risk, and those living with vulnerable or at-risk persons are encouraged to remain home. And of course, if you are not feeling well, please do not come to Mass.

In following the guidelines outlined by the Bishops of Washington State and in support of Governor Inslee’s Phase 2 Guidelines, there are restrictions and processes that we MUST follow in order to celebrate Holy Mass in the church. If we are found to be out of compliance with these guidelines, our permission to celebrate Mass at the Proto-Cathedral will be rescinded. These guidelines are described in detail here.  Please be sure to read through this list carefully before signing up for a particular Mass.  The general dispensation from Sunday Mass obligation will continue to remain in place.

ALLIANCE OF TWO HEARTS: Our monthly First Friday/Saturday and we have our monthly Alliance of The Two Hearts and The Communion of Reparation devotion. Due to the current COVID related guidelines and growing security concerns, the hours of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be modified and signups through the website will be required (for this month). Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will begin immediately following the 12:10PM Mass and will conclude at 9:00PM. In order for this to take place, we must have at least 2 people signed up per hour, plus an assigned security monitoring person who will also check people in. If we don’t have the required number of people per hour by 4pm on Thursday before, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will not take place. Also, please note that you will need to disinfect your pew before leaving and the outdoor bathrooms will NOT be open.

PRIVATE PRAYER: For the past several weeks, the church has been open for private prayer Tuesday-Friday from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Please bring wipes to disinfect your pew.

While visiting our church, please continue to follow the guidelines outlined below:

  • Face coverings must be worn.
  • Social distancing guidelines of 6 feet must be maintained in the parking lot and on sidewalks, and in the church.
  • Sit only in the designated areas.
  • The outdoor bathrooms will be closed and not available for use during these hours.
  • The Parish Hall will be closed to all access.

Confession Schedule:

Due to the Upper Hall floor being refinished, we will not be able to use the hall for Confessions as originally planned and communicated in our parish email last week. The new Confession Schedule is as follows:

Tuesday through Friday, from 9:00am – 10:00am and from 3:00pm-4:00pm. Please call the office at 360-693-3052 during office hours (9am – 4pm), Tuesday- Friday, to schedule a confession appointment with Fr. Harris.

Mass Schedule:

At this point in time, there are no changes to our Mass schedule. Daily Masses are at 12:10PM on Tuesdays-Fridays, and at 9:00am on Saturdays. Sunday Masses are at 5:00pm (Vigil), 7:30am, 9:00am, 11:00am, and 2:30pm (Vietnamese).

Guidelines for Mass:

  • Mass attendance is limited to 100 people.  This includes the priest and cantor (for weekend Masses).  
  • You MUST sign up in advance to reserve a spot for a particular Mass. Sign-ups for Mass can be done through Signup Genius (the link will be posted on the homepage of the parish website each week) or by calling the parish office at 360-693-3052 during normal office hours (Tuesday – Friday, 9am-4pm) if you do not have a internet accessible device.
  • Those attending Mass MUST wear face coverings. 
  • Social distancing guidelines of 6 feet must be maintained in the parking lot and on sidewalks, and in the church.
  • Please arrive at least 5 minutes before Mass. Use the front entrance to enter (the handicap entrance will be opened as needed). Someone will be at the front entrance to sign you in. Once Mass begins, the doors will be locked.  
  • Parishioners are asked to bring disinfecting wipes to wipe down their pew and areas of contact at the end of Mass.
  • Please exit the church immediately after Mass so that the church can be cleaned before the next Mass.
  • The outdoor bathrooms will be open.  However, they will NOT be disinfected after usages.  Use at your own risk! Due to the size of the bathrooms, only one person can enter at a time (with exception of members of the same household).  
  • Instructions will be given at Mass for the distribution of Holy Communion, which will take place after Mass.

Vulnerable or at-risks persons, or those living with vulnerable or at-risk persons, are encouraged to remain home.  Also, if you are not feeling well, we ask that you please not come to Mass.  A list of COVID-19 symptoms and screening questions can be found on the parish website.  Please review this information before coming to Mass.

 
Further changes to our parish activity:
  • The office is closed to all walk-in visits. However, we are taking phone calls and emails during normal office hours, Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Much of the staff is checking email remotely during office hours, so please feel free to email them with questions or needs. For Faith Formation, email Katelyn Greenlee at  faithformation@protocathedral.org. For Liturgy and Music, email Ben Espana at music@protocathedral.org. For all other questions, please email admin@protocathedral.org and our staff will get back to you in a timely manner.
  • All cemetery pre-need purchases will have to wait until the stay-at-home order is released. However, at need purchases can take place, but you will need to call the office to schedule an appointment. General Cemetery inquiries can be handled over the phone, as long as someone is in the office and able to look up the information for you.
  • The Frassati Supper, Closet and Cupboard are cancelled until further notice. 
  • Father Harris will not be giving anointings because he is over the age of 60.  If you are in need of an anointing, please contact the parish office and we will reach out to one of the designated priests in the area to get the anointing scheduled.

There is additional information posted on our parish website, with many good resources on the Faith Formation page.  Also, don’t forget your free subscription to Formed.org with access to Catholic movies, faith formation videos, audio talks and great children’s videos. If you are new to Formed, just go to Formed.org and click on “Sign Up” to create your FREE account. Select “I belong to a Parish or Organization”. Enter our zip code (98660) and select our parish.

Please know that you all in our prayers during this very challenging time and we will do our best to be here for you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call the office at 360-693-3052 or email admin@protocathedral.org .